Online Training Options Abound for Adult Learners, but The Classroom May Still be Best, According to PMI

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Even though online learning opportunities offer flexibility and convenience, participants in instructor-led classes still benefit from personalized attention and networking. This is especially important in the healthcare field, as team members tackle complicated medical billing and coding issues.

Healthcare workers looking to further their careers are drawn to online options as a way to fit training into a busy schedule. Convenience and flexibility are significant drivers to this format, but there are tradeoffs to consider when choosing online over live, instructor-led learning opportunities, according to industry leader Practice Management Institute (PMI).

Many people associate online learning with greater accessibility and cost savings. But even in the Internet age, there are still benefits to live training that can’t be ignored. Some research shows that people who take courses online—including classes intended to advance job knowledge and skills—are more likely to drop the course or get a lower grade compared to those taking the same course in a classroom setting.(1,2)

For healthcare administrators and managers, instructor-led training sessions in medical practice management edge out certain online offerings by offering specific advantages. Medical coding classes and medical billing classes cover a variety of complex topics, and course participants attending live classes report increased focus on presentations and question and answer sessions. Also, there are typically more opportunities to practice new skills before implementing them in the work environment, and personal attention from instructors simply isn’t available for similar types of online courses.(2)

Instructor-led class participants can also gain interpersonal relationship skills that enhance their careers. In live classes, attendees meet people from other departments and facilities, and build working relationships that complement and strengthen their own skills and knowledge. Personal networks are expanded, and informal interactions among students can often lead to a firmer grasp of the course materials, as well as a greater appreciation for the knowledge gained.

David Womack, CEO of PMI, says, “Online learning is tremendously beneficial for many people looking to enhance their skill set, but instructor-led training still has benefits that an online forum can’t match. Live courses are easily adaptable to fit the unique needs of the students, and instructors can offer personalized attention to those who need a little extra help. With topics such as medical billing and coding, this is especially important, since these are complicated topics and a firm grasp of the material is essential for success.”

While PMI offers learners several online options, the company also provides a variety of instructor-led courses and conferences to fit the medical practice training needs of healthcare organizations nationwide. PMI’s 2017 National Conference, held November 8–10 in Las Vegas, gives attendees the chance to network, enhance practice management skill sets, and earn continuing education credits. The conference features several keynote speakers and presenters, all of whom offer unique knowledge and insights into the world of medical practice management. Conference attendees will boost their own expertise, which will benefit not only themselves, but also the healthcare organizations for which they work.

About Practice Management Institute (PMI):
For more than 30 years, the Practice Management Institute (PMI) has helped physicians, hospital systems, medical societies, and educational institutions provide comprehensive education and training to medical office staff nationwide. By offering a variety of educational programs and professional certifications, PMI helps to build competency, compliancy and effectiveness that assures the continued success of its clients.

Since PMI’s formation in 1983, more than 20,000 individuals have earned certification in one more areas of expertise. PMI is recognized by both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Department of Labor for training in medical coding, third-party billing, office management, and compliance. PMI training helps ease the burden of running a successful medical practice by way of thorough education and up-to-date training for non-clinical staff, allowing physicians to focus on patient care to improve the experience of the patient. For more information, visit

About David Womack:
David Womack, president and CEO of the Practice Management Institute, has been instrumental in PMI’s continued success since 1991. He has helped PMI transition into a cutting-edge leader in medical office staff education and training while developing key relationships with healthcare organizations, hospitals, colleges, and medical societies across the country. His commitment to excellence has helped PMI become an industry leader recognized by both governmental organizations and healthcare systems across the country.

1. Online vs. In-Class Success. Training.
2. Twelve Advantages of Instructor-Led Classroom Training. Max Technical Training and Solutions.

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Karla Jo Helms
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